Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Bye Bye Command Line; Amazon Releases Its AWS Web Console

The first thing you notice instantly is how clean everything is laid out

Alan Wiliamson's Blog

Finally, after years of providing just a command line interface to their web services, Amazon has released a web based management console. Has it been worth the wait? In a nutshell, yes.

We knew this day was coming, and 8th of January was that day.

Built using Yahoo's YUI framework, using JSP at the backend, Amazon's engineers have delivered a very rich, functional and darn right stunning looking console. It begs you to want to use it.

Initial Tour




The first you notice instantly is how clean everything is laid out, choice of colours and controls just flow beautifully. The front page is your main overview page giving you the state of EC2 and the amount of resources you are presently consuming. Nice little 'refresh' button, that simply updates one of the inner panels instead of forcing a whole page refresh. This is the small details that carry on through - this is how AJAX should be used.



The bread'n'butter of this console is the management of instances, the bit that most people usually struggle with the most, particularly when it comes to finding an image to which to start. The selection of images from either the public list or the private list is clean and informative. Infact even I have noticed that Amazon have finally blessed Fedora 8 as a base image after holding onto Fedora 4 for so long.



After selecting the image you want, you are then presented with the necessary options to actually run up the image, optionally taking you through a wizard if you haven't yet created any key pairs or firewall settings. This is the bit that usually trips up AWS virgins; run up and image and left locked out of it figuring out how to get into it.

All other aspects of what EC2 touches are configurable from this console. This includes the Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Elastic IPs and Security Groups.

This console does not address any of the other Amazon Web Services, including S3, Simple Storage, and Simple Queuing Service. That I suspect is just a matter of time.

What about RightScale? Elastic Server?

How does this beta stack up against the likes of RightScale and Elastic Servers dashboard?

Well it is not quite a fair comparison as each of these chaps operate over multiple cloud providers, but if all you are doing is Amazon, then it just got harder to justify the fee for RightScale if you don't need any of the other value add services. I know a lot of people use RightScale just for the convenience of a web based frontend instead of wrestling with the command line or the FireFox plugin.

Elastic Server doesn't have anything to worry about, especially as they are specifically geared towards the management and building of the images across lots of difference platforms. In fact this compliments their offering as only this week they released support for the KVM, the Linux Virtualization kernel.

Have we seen it before?

This isn't the first time we've seen a fully functional AJAX laden web application for the cloud. GoGrid has their much touted GWT based application.

As I have commented in the past, their web ui is very sluggish and slow in parts. Having experience in GWT, I can tell its GWT that is slowing things down here and I think Amazon's choice of YUI was probably a wise one in this instance. Run both of them up beside each other and you'll instantly feel a snappish response compared to GoGrid's GWT version.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but the initial choice of framework is important as switching at a later date does require pretty much a complete rewrite.

So, was it worth the wait?

Amazon have delivered this console under the 'beta' banner, and if its anything like a Google 'beta' then we should be living with this for a number of years, so get use to that little logo!

It is infinitely more accessible than their FireFox plugin, which ties you to a single browser/single machine and it delivers in all the functional pieces to let you really utilise EC2. As more pieces fall into place, this will become the defacto standard way of managing your AWS account. I hope they also tie in the accountancy to the same console; I would like to see the cost of my services as I incur them. But Amazon does not offer any public API's to get at that information, so we may not see it here.

See for yourself: https://console.aws.amazon.com.


Learn How to Leverage Cloud Computing and Virtualization in NYC This March

Cloud Computing and Virtualization both take center stage this March in New York City, as SYS-CON Events brings two of its most popular industry-leading Enterprise IT events to the Big Apple: 2nd International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo and 5th International Virtualization Conference & Expo.

Co-located at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in midtown Manhattan, these events have the highest-energy Expo Floor of any comparable event, with more exhibitors, more attendees, and more Special Events like our industry Power Panels, our delegate prize drawings, and our attendee-generated Show Awards.

Attend Full-Day Cloud Bootcamp FREE With Your “Expo Plus Bootcamp” Registration!

Cloud computing is an opportunity for business to implement low cost, low power and high efficiency systems to deliver scalable infrastructure. But what's actually involved in moving to a cloud infrastructure? In this compelling one-day, hands-on training program, you'll learn just what it takes to take full advantage of the Cloud. Join fellow delegates as Alan Williamson, Editor-in-Chief of Cloud Computing Journal, uses his expertise to lead you through Cloud Computing Bootcamp on Tuesday March 31, 2009 with configuration samples, live demos and working setups.

Seats are limited to the first 500 attendees so Register Today for Cloud Computing Bootcamp to secure your spot!

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Alan_R_Williamson 01/09/09 09:47:06 AM EST

You are absolutely correct Thorsten; RightScale offers a very rich experience. My point was, there is a large number of users that are simply not using anywhere near your full capability and merely using the RightScale portal as a very beautiful way to avoid using Amazons command line tools.

Naturally, when people start using RightScale there is a higher chance they will discover new services and evolve to use them.

That said, now that Amazon have started on their path with their console, many people will now simply not even look at the services offered by the likes of yourselves and others.

Either way, your sales job just got a little harder, as one of the tick boxes has now been covered by Amazon themselves.

voneicken 01/09/09 09:13:49 AM EST

Alan, I'm surprised your write "if all you are doing is Amazon, then it just got harder to justify the fee for RightScale if you don't need any of the other value add services". RightScale offers for free a whole lot more functionality that Amazon's console, plus you get to start on a system that allows you to grow to more functionality when you need it. So there is no fee to get more than AWS offers.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Ed Featherston has been named the "Tech Chair" of "FinTechEXPO - New York Blockchain Event" of CloudEXPO's 10-Year Anniversary Event which will take place on November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York will present keynotes, general sessions, and more than 20 blockchain sessions by leading FinTech experts.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science" is responsible for guiding the technology strategy within Hitachi Vantara for IoT and Analytics. Bill brings a balanced business-technology approach that focuses on business outcomes to drive data, analytics and technology decisions that underpin an organization's digital transformation strategy.
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
Rodrigo Coutinho is part of OutSystems' founders' team and currently the Head of Product Design. He provides a cross-functional role where he supports Product Management in defining the positioning and direction of the Agile Platform, while at the same time promoting model-based development and new techniques to deliver applications in the cloud.
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and Bi...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and sh...
What are the new priorities for the connected business? First: businesses need to think differently about the types of connections they will need to make – these span well beyond the traditional app to app into more modern forms of integration including SaaS integrations, mobile integrations, APIs, device integration and Big Data integration. It’s important these are unified together vs. doing them all piecemeal. Second, these types of connections need to be simple to design, adapt and configure...